The European Commission announced on Wednesday the opening of an in-depth investigation to the American multinational Amazon to clarify if there have been monopolistic abuses in the use of commercial data of those who sell their products through the online platform.
The formal file opened by Brussels will serve to clarify whether Amazon violated European rules on competition, for example in the way in which it used sensitive data from third parties obtained through its ‘marketplace’ (or points of sale) or the treatment of the data of the winners of the ‘Buy Box’ of the platform.
They will also examine in detail the impact on this selection of Amazon’s use of sensitive information about the sales points of the vendors included in the list.
The ‘Buy Box’ appears visibly on the Amazon site and allows customers to add items from a specific merchant directly to their shopping cart, so gaining this advantage is essential for sellers, since in the end the Most sales go through this transaction.
“Online sales have increased the possibilities of choice for users and lower prices, we must ensure that large platforms do not eliminate these advantages with anti-competitive behavior,” said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Therefore, explained Vestager, has taken the decision to “examine in detail the commercial practices” of Amazon and its dual role played by the platform, as a retailer and as a point of sale.
The community rules do not establish closed deadlines for the conclusion of the investigation, of which the Community Executive has informed not only Amazon but other competitors and if it concludes that the platform violated European standards could result in a multi-million dollar fine.